Monaghan's Darren Hughes is en route to Australia for Saturday's second international rules test in Perth. The decision was taken by Ireland manager Joe Kernan after Pearce Hanley was ruled out of the match because of an injury, as his team try to chase down a 10-point deficit.
“Darren Hughes is on his way out,” said Kernan on Monday morning in Adelaide. “He ticks all the boxes; he covers us in a lot of positions. It will be great to have him here. It’s unfortunate for Pearce - he was playing very well.”
Hanley's week of misfortune was completed when he had to leave the field in the first half of the first test because of a fractured bone in his hand. The Mayo man, who plays in the AFL with Gold Coast, had been one of the panel worst affected by the stomach bug that caused such disruption to the team preparations last week.
There will be no decision as yet on the possibility of drafting Derry's Conor Glass, who is currently on the books of AFL club Hawthorn and who was promoted from the club's rookie list at the end of last season to play a number of matches for the seniors.
The first Irish player to appear for Hawthorn, he impressed sufficiently to see out the season for the club. Kernan said that there may be no need to draft Glass if the two remaining players laid low by the bug, Sligo's Niall Murphy and Enda Smith of Roscommon, recover in time.
“We’ll assess the other boys (Smith and Murphy) first,” he said. “We’ll wait and see how they are during the week. They couldn’t even go to the match yesterday so I’ll sit down and talk to the doc later in the week and see how they are for next weekend.
“Those two boys got a bad going over. A few others had it too - just didn’t go as bad. Hopefully it’s contained now.”
The team left Adelaide on Monday morning to fly to Perth and will spend a couple of days at a West Australian coastal resort before getting down to work for the second test.